Blog Tag: DePuy Synthes

Surgeon wins $20M jury verdict against DePuy Synthes for Infringement of Knee Prosthesis Patents

Rasmussen Instruments, LLC (“Rasmussen”) won a $20M jury verdict against DePuy Synthes (“Depuy”), a part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies. Rasmussen asserted Patent Nos. US 9,492,180 (‘180 patent) and US 10,517,583 (‘583 patent), both titled “Arthroplasty systems and methods for optimally aligning and tensioning a knee prosthesis,” against DePuy’s “Balanced Sizer” product for its Attune® Knee System

According to the complaint filed in 2020, Dr. G. Lynn Rasmussen is an orthopedic surgeon based in Murray, Utah, with over 40 years of experience in reconstructive orthopedic surgery and is the sole member and owner of Rasmussen.  Both the ‘180 patent and ‘583 patent claim priority to a provisional application filed in 2005 by Dr. Rasmussen.  The complaint alleges that the ‘180 patent and ‘583 patent “describe and claim . . . a device for maintaining the tension in the ligaments of a knee joint and/or adjusting the alignment of a knee joint during knee replacement surgery.” 

According to the complaint, from 2012 to 2014, Dr. Rasmussen discussed licensing the patented technology with DePuy, but after the negotiations broke down, Rasmussen initiated litigation against DePuy.  After a trial in March of 2022, the jury decided that DePuy’s “Balanced Sizer” product infringed the ‘180 patent but did not infringe the ‘583 patent. The jury also decided that DePuy’s infringement of the ‘183 patent was willful and that Rasmussen’s damages were therefore $20 million.  The jury also held that the ‘180 patent and the ‘583 patent were not invalid.

The case is No. 1:20-CV-11807-WGY in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Eastern Division.  

Find additional information and resources for the medical device community at Knobbe Medical.

IP Litigation Remains Active in the Orthopedic and Spine Industries

IP Litigation Remains Active in the Orthopedic and Spine Industries

The orthopedic industry traditionally sees significant levels of intellectual property litigation activity, and this year has been no different. One source of this activity comes from Conformis who has continued to assert patents directed towards surgical planning and patient specific instruments and implants. In 2021, Conformis filed three new complaints, settled one case, and continued another litigation. These cases have involved various companies, including DePuy Synthes, Exactech, Bodycad, Wright Medical, and Medacta.

Decisions and settlements have also been reached in several additional lawsuits relating to diverse technologies, such as bone plates, knee implants, and pedicle screws. TriMed, Arthrex, Medacta, and Zimmer are some of the companies that have been parties to these lawsuits. Alternative forums, including the use of Inter Partes Review, have also continued to play significant roles for both patent holders and challengers.

Several attorneys from Knobbe Martens – including Andrew Douglas, Jessica Achtsam, Michael Christensen, Kregg Koch, Christy Lea and Sabing Lee – presented a webinar on August 26, 2021, to discuss notable decisions from recent orthopedic and spine intellectual property litigations. The webinar was prepared in anticipation of the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the 36th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Spine Specialists and included topics such as:

  • an analysis of claim types asserted by Conformis against patient specific implant and instrument technologies and how these claims have been enforced against and challenged by many prominent orthopedic companies;
  • how statements made by a patent holder can limit the scope of their claims in litigation;
  • how small companies can leverage their patents to derive licensing revenue;
  • trade secret issues that can arise at industry meetings;
  • how prolific doctor inventors have built and enforced large patent portfolios;
  • remedies for IP disputes outside the United States; and
  • strategies for using patents defensively as part of a countersuit strategy.

The full webinar is available for viewing at this web link.

FTC Approves Tornier and Wright Medical Merger

FTC Approves Tornier and Wright Medical Merger

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a final order that conditionally approves the merger between Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Tornier N.V. and Memphis, Tennessee-based Wright Medical Group, Inc.  Reuters reports that the all-stock transaction is valued at about $3.3 billion.  Plans for the merger were first announced in October 2014, and approved by the shareholders of both companies in June 2015, subject to receipt of clearance by the FTC.  Progress on the transaction was suspended when the FTC expressed concerns that the merger would reduce competition for total ankle replacements and total silicone rubber (silastic) toe replacements in the U.S. market.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition enforces U.S. antitrust laws and works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices.  On occasion, the Bureau urges the Commission to take law enforcement action. In this case, the FTC’s concerns were the final obstacle to the proposed merger. The recent final order, which follows a mandatory public comment period, settles the FTC’s allegations of anticompetitive behavior.

The order calls for Tornier to sell a portion of its U.S. assets and IP rights to Integra Lifesciences Corporation (NASDAQ: IART), a competitor in the U.S. orthopedics space, which is based in Plainsboro, New Jersey.  The newly combined company will be required to provide Integra with ankle and toe replacement products for up to three years. Through this arrangement, the FTC seeks to foster competition in the affected market.

In addition to its upper and lower extremity portfolio, the merged companies will  maintain a presence in the growing biologics market.  Wright Medical recently obtained FDA approval on the Augment bone graft material (left), which is as an alternative to autograft in a variety of arthrodesis procedures.  Tornier has developed a line of biologics that includes its BioFiber line of absorbable scaffolds and its Conexa reconstructive tissue matrix, both of which are used for soft tissue repair.

The U.S. market for cell-based therapies for musculoskeletal injuries (orthobiologics) is valued at over $1.5 billion and is expected to grow significantly in 2016.  Other market participants in the orthobiologics space include Dublin, Ireland-based Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), San Diego, California-based NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA), Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Stryker (NYSE: SYK), and Johnson and Johnson’s West Chester, Pennsylvania-based DePuy Synthes (NYSE: JNJ).  Orthobiologics are part of the growing field of regenerative medicine, which includes bioprinting and stem-cell based therapies, and is projected to be worth $6.5 billion in the U.S. by 2019.  Bioprinting, itself, has received recent investment and growth.

Following the merger, the resulting company will be renamed Wright Medical Group, N.V. and will be incorporated and headquartered in the Netherlands.

Globus Argues Expert’s Faked Credentials Warrants New Trial

In 2011, DePuy-Synthes, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. sued Globus Medical, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.  In that suit, Synthes alleged that Globus had infringed three Synthes patents (U.S. Patent Nos.  7,846,207; 7,862,616; and 7,875,076) all directed to intervertebral implants.

The jury found that Synthes’ patents were valid and that three of Globus’ intervertebral implant products infringed those patents. The jury awarded Synthes $16 million in damages, representing a 15% royalty on Globus’ sales of infringing products.

In December 2014, Synthes learned that its damages expert, Richard Gering, did not have a Ph.D., as he had testified under oath.  Synthes notified the court and Globus the following day.

Globus argued in a brief, filed April 24th, 2015, that it should be granted a new trial because it is impossible to quantify how much the discredited expert’s testimony influenced the jury’s decision.  Synthes responded that because Globus did not offer evidence that the expert’s testimony itself was factually incorrect, it could not establish that a new trial is warranted.  Mr. Gering testified only on damages, and not on validity or infringement.  Therefore, Synthes argued that there is no reason to grant a new trial.

 

 

 

DePuy Synthes Announces Acquisition of Olive Medical

By: Mark Speegle

(Feb. 11, 2015)  DePuy Synthes, a Johnson & Johnson company, announced its acquisition of Olive Medical Corporation in a press release.  The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.  According to its website, Olive Medical is a medical device company specializing in high-definition imagining equipment for minimally invasive surgery.

The press release notes that Olive Medical’s imaging technology is expected to complement DePuy Synthes’s existing Mitek Sports Medicine portfolio, which includes multiple systems designed for surgical use with such visualization technology in the operating room.  The press release also stated that the deal will allow DePuy Synthes to integrate Olive Medical’s imaging equipment into its own systems for a single source offering.

According to its website, DePuy Synthes is a worldwide provider of a variety of orthopedic and neurological medical products, and has its North America headquarters in West Chester, Pennsylvania.